Spotify music streaming review: Pricing, features and devices
Discover its playlists and stream your music collection on demand with free, Premium and student rates.
Spotify offers both free and paid subscriptions to enjoy millions of songs with or without commercials. If you’re a student, it discounts its rates for the four years you’re in school.
Free trial length
Individual plan price
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|Family plan offered||
|Family plan device limit||6|
|Family plan price||$14.99|
Pros and cons
- Free tier available. If you’re a frugal music lover, then you have the option of a free Spotify experience, though you’ll have a limited number of song skips and have the occasional ad interruption
- Simple to use. As one of the oldest and most popular streaming services, Spotify has had plenty of time to make exploring its many features a user-friendly experience.
- Lack of song lyrics. If you’re looking to practice for your next karaoke session, you’ll find little to nothing in terms of song lyrics.
What features does Spotify offer?
As the driving force behind the rise of music streaming, Spotify established many of the features that are now standard throughout the industry:
When you’re ready to relax, host a dinner party or throw a celebration, easily access your favorite playlists for the occasion. You can also share or collaborate with friends and family.
Use Spotify’s tools to discover new music. Follow your friends on Spotify to check out what they’re into, or follow artists to keep up-to-date with their latest releases. And based on what you’ve listened to in the past, Spotify can recommend new tracks and artists it thinks you might like.
Its Discover Weekly playlist is a two hour collection of music picked based on your listening habits. It refreshes its music selection weekly to help you discover new music. Spotify recently added a Daily Mix playlist that refreshes its music daily.
Premium subscribers can download tracks to their devices for listening on the go — even when you’re not connected to the Internet. Offline play allows you to download up to 3,333 songs at once to a single device, with support for up to three devices and a total of 9,999 songs. But you need to connect Spotify to the Internet every 30 days to verify your subscription is active.
Spotify partners with Genius and Soundhound to offer lyrics to selected songs on its mobile app. Some tracks include additional information about the lyrics, providing deeper insight into the stories and meaning behind the words.
What music is available on Spotify?
Spotify offers over 35 million tracks, with big-name artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry headlining the roster.
If you’ve bought your fair share of CDs and MP3s over the years, use Spotify to play music files on your device. This saves you from managing multiple music libraries and media players.
What devices is Spotify compatible with?
Access Spotify on a range of devices by downloading its app. But you can only stream to one device at a time.
• PC or Mac web player
• iPhones, iPads or iPod Touch for iOS 8 or later
• Android smartphones and tablets
TVs and gaming devices
• LG Samsung
• Playstation 3 and 4
Spotify also supports Google Chromecast and Wi-Fi compatible devices including smartwatches, speakers, streaming boxes and cars — but only for paid subscribers.
Smart home device compatibility
Spotify is available on more than 40 smart home devices, including the big names:
- Sonos. Only with Premium subscription
- Amazon Alexa. Only with Premium subscription.
- Google Home. Can listen with free subscription, but you can’t choose songs.
- Denon. Better sound quality with Premium subscription.
- Bose. Better sound quality with Premium subscription.
- Chromcast Audio. Only with Premium subscription.
How much does Spotify cost?
Spotify offers two main tiers of subscription: Free and premium.
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Case study: Rhys's experience
Is Premium+ worth it?
As a writer, it’s important to set the mood when I delve into a project — especially a creative one. With Spotify Premium, I was able to make playlists that fit characters, general moods, themes and just about anything else I found myself needing to get going. I could also download playlists to take on the go when I didn’t have an Internet connection, and my flow wouldn’t get interrupted by advertisements.
Unfortunately, as soon as I needed to take a break from Premium, it became all but useless. Advertisements with poor sound balance that play every few songs, only being able to listen to things on shuffle and not being able to access my music without Internet killed all the features that mattered to me.
It’s hard to tell if I’ll go back to Spotify once I can fit it in the budget again, especially since I’ve gone through the hassle of recreating some of the playlists on YouTube.
Spotify launched in Sweden back in 2008 and has about 217 million users. Its solid reputation, massive library of songs, playlists and the ability to stream your library from anywhere make Spotify a solid streaming service. You won’t find much in the way of cutting edge features here however.
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